There is a lot of excitement surrounding the Mercer football program this spring, and there are plenty of reasons for that.
The Bears started spring practice Sunday (with their first scrimmage set for Saturday), getting an early start after their first season in the Southern Conference. Yes, they finished 1-6 in the conference, but in five of those games, Mercer went right down to the wire with a chance to win. The Bears are 16-8 in their two seasons since restarting their program.
And the Bears did that without their top defensive player, Tosin Aguebor, who missed the entire season after suffering an injury in August. Aguebor is back to work with his teammates during spring practice, and they have been joined by a really good redshirt freshman class, players who sat out the 2014 season and worked on getting ready for their first season in 2015.
That work heats up during spring practice, and there is plenty of talent in this class, led by linebacker Isaiah Buehler and cornerback Brandon Gurley, who both could make an immediate impact this fall. That redshirt group is going to be key to the Bears’ success this season, if for no other reason than to help with the team’s depth and give the Bears more healthy and talented bodies to go up against the Southern Conference competition.
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Spring practice comes on the heels of another solid recruiting cycle and signing day for the program. Bobby Lamb and his staff, led by recruiting coordinator Grant Cain, had a strong day on the first Wednesday in February as they continue to look for talented players to get up to full strength in scholarships.
The added depth will pay off big time in the fall when the Bears get into the close games they faced this season, and that includes the redshirt freshman class and some members of this year’s class.
It’s easy to see why the Bears continue to add solid classes and build an even stronger program as they move forward. Lamb has a terrific coaching staff, and the support staff did a nice job of showcasing the new players with social media work as their paperwork came through the fax machine at the Mercer offices. Those kinds of things probably shouldn’t matter, but they do, and future recruits will take notice.
They will take notice of the SEC/ACC-quality videos and bios that the support staff put out on Twitter and the digital billboards the program displayed of this class, and those things will help attract players to the next class and beyond. That kind of investment will pay off with even more talent in the next few years, and that will result in more and more wins.
And that’s what the fans can really get excited about.
Contact Daniel Shirley at 744-4227 or firstname.lastname@example.org